Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng was asked by reporters about the government’s ongoing preparations for its bidding process for the granting of future gaming concessions in the run-up to the expiration of the city’s three gaming concessions and three sub-concessions in 2022, as Ho stated in his 2021 Policy Address that the government would propose amendments to the city’s current gaming industry law next year.
Ho said that the government will hold a public consultation first before drafting amendments to the gaming law. Ho pointed out that according to the full version of the 2021 Policy Address, the government plans to submit a bill amending the gaming industry law to the legislature for debate and vote in the fourth quarter of next year, but whether the schedule could be achieved would depend on the outcome of the public consultation to be held next year.
Ho underlined that the government still has time to prepare for the future gaming concession bidding process, which he described as a “complicated” matter, as there are still about two years left before the expiration of the current gaming concessions and sub-concessions in 2022.
Observers have pointed out that amendments to the current gaming law would be needed to solve the “historical issue” of the current gaming concession and sub-concession model – the gaming industry’s “3+3” system – as the gaming law stipulates that a maximum of three gaming concessions were to be granted.
Ho also said that the government will continue ensuring the sound development of the city’s gaming industry. Ho also said that the government’s economic diversification drive does not mean that it will have to deliberately undermine its pillar industry – the gaming sector.